Waltlaw's US Immigration Timeline

  Petitioner's Name: Arena
Beneficiary's Name: Walter
VJ Member: Waltlaw
Country: Canada

Last Updated: 2014-10-06
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Immigration Checklist for Arena & Walter:

USCIS I-129F Petition:      
Dept of State K1 Visa:    
USCIS I-485 Petition:  
USCIS I-765 Petition:      
USCIS I-131 Petition:      
USCIS I-751 Petition:  
USCIS N-400 Petition:  

K1 Visa
Event Date
Service Center : Vermont Service Center
Transferred? No
Consulate : Vancouver, Canada
I-129F Sent : 2010-12-21
I-129F NOA1 : 2010-12-29
I-129F RFE(s) :
RFE Reply(s) :
I-129F NOA2 : 2011-05-26
NVC Received :
Date Case #, IIN, and BIN assigned :
NVC Left :
Consulate Received : 2011-06-09
Packet 3 Received : 2011-06-29
Packet 3 Sent : 2011-07-21
Packet 4 Received : 2011-07-27
Interview Date : 2011-09-16
Interview Result : Approved
Second Interview
(If Required):
Second Interview Result:
Visa Received : 2011-09-23
US Entry : 2011-10-07
Marriage : 2012-01-14
Comments : I entered through the Pembina POE between Manitoba and North Dakota. Processing time was about 45 minutes. None of my belongings were inspected and no questions were asked about my truck. I suspect I will have to deal with importing the truck when I register it in Oklahoma.

Addendum (Oct 10/12): I officially imported my truck 11 months later in late Sep. 2012. The office was near the Tulsa airport. Surprisingly, there was no charge. I brought all my documents, including Canadian passport with visa, which was needed.

A few days later, I registered my vehicle & was back-charged for the year ($85) and given a late-fee of $100; the cost of procrastination. (You are allowed 12 months after bringing the vehicle into the US to have it officially imported.)

I still have my Alberta driver's license. I cannot get an Oklahoma license until I receive my green card, which I should be getting within the month.

Upon receiving my green card, I had no difficulty getting my OK driver's license.
Estimates/Stats :
Your I-129f was approved in 148 days from your NOA1 date.

Your interview took 261 days from your I-129F NOA1 date.

Port of Entry Review
Event Date
Port of Entry : CDN-USA Border
POE Date : 2011-10-07
Got EAD Stamp : Yes,EAD Card
Biometrics Taken : Yes
Harassment Level : 0
Comments : I entered the US through the Pembina POE between Manitoba and North Dakota. Processing time was about 45 minutes. None of my belongings were inspected and no questions were asked about my truck. I suspect I will have to deal with importing the truck when I register it in Oklahoma.

Adjustment of Status
Event Date
CIS Office : Oklahoma City OK
Date Filed : 2012-01-05
NOA Date : 2012-01-13
RFE(s) : 2012-09-07
Bio. Appt. : 2012-02-07
AOS Transfer** : 2012-02-01
Interview Date :
Approval / Denial Date : 2012-09-28
Approved : Yes
Got I551 Stamp :
Greencard Received:
Comments : In Feb. 2012, my application was transferred to the California office. So far, I have not received notification for an interview date.

No interview was required (i.e., I didn't receive an interview request) On Oct 9/12, I was informed that my card was in production and to expect it within 30 days.

Received my green card and the expiry date was Sep. 28, 2012, which surprised me. Why not make it a date closer to when I actually receive it? Or if that's not feasible, why not use the date when I was informed (i.e., Oct. 9/12)? Strange.

Lifting Conditions
Event Date
CIS Office : Vermont Service Center
Date Filed : 2014-09-28
NOA Date : 2014-10-01
RFE(s) :
Bio. Appt. :
Interview Date :
Approval / Denial Date :
Approved :
Got I551 Stamp :
Green Card Received :
Comments : Waited until the last minute to submit. Was a little worried because USCIS would receive it 2 days after the expiry date, which was on a Sunday. The form fee was $505 and the biometrics fee was $85. Including the biometrics fee was in small print, literally, but I learned from my original Green Card application that they want this fee up front.

As of Wed (Oct 1), I have not heard anything from USCIS, so I expect they are reviewing the form for completeness and I'll be receiving notice for my biometrics appt, which I expect will be in OKlahoma City again.

Member Reviews:

Consulate Review: Vancouver, Canada
Review Topic: K1 Visa
Event Description
Review Date : September 20, 2011
Embassy Review : My visa interview was on Sep. 16/11 at 10 AM. I was staying in Surrey (with relatives), which is very far from downtown Vancouver, but the Skytrain is cheap ($5 from Surrey) and fast (35 minutes). I got off at the Burrard Skytrain station, which is only 1.5 blocks from the US Consulate.

Getting into the US Consulate was a bit of a gong show.javascript:emoticon('') The line-up was long outside (10-15 people), but they were processing people quickly. I was asked if I had any metal or electronics, which i indicated I did. Then she looked at my laptop bag (no laptop inside, just my paperwork) and she said I couldn't bring it in. She indicated I could drop it off at where I'm staying (impossible for me; too far away), or a store across the street. I went to a convenience store (next to Purolator) directly across the street and asked they guy if I could leave it there. The convenience story guy said "Yes. $5 please." Obviously, he had done this before. He reminded me about the metal objects and electronics, which I dumped into my bag. (It was safe with him. I got everything back.)

Upon returning to the consulate, I was quickly brought to security (bypassing the line as I had already waited in line earlier). On my initial check-in, I had shown her my sealed envelope with medical exam results and passport. So she had checked off my name and was waiting for me. Security was pretty much like airport security: empty your pockets, remove your belt and your jacket. The scanner was on the fritz, so I had to wait until it was reset and tested. I've waited 8 months, so I could wait another 5 minutes.

I was then told by security that when I get to the consulate office, I was to go to booth B and press the "light-switch." (I kind of forgot this instruction by the time I got there.) I was guided to a waiting area, waited a bit, then guided to an elevator, then guided to another waiting area, then directed into the interview waiting room. Everyone else had a wait-list number, except me. I then asked a woman across from me and she reminded me that I had received an instruction at security. Ah, that's right: Booth B.

I went to Booth B and the female administrator started the paperwork quickly, making copies, and asking me to organize the forms and documents I had brought. Then I signed the DS-156K form, vowing verbally that I'll marry my fiancee within 90 days of arriving within the US. I was then given the wait-list number, but didn't have to sit long.

Within minutes, my number appeared on the monitor and I went to the appropriate booth. Standing across from the immigration person, who was behind a glass, he reviewed the folder given to him from the previous administrator that had processed me. Before starting the questioning, I had to pledge to be honest and all that. He asked me some very basic questions like, "When and how did you meet?", "How often do you visit?", "When are you going to get married?", "What kind of work does your fiancee do?", "What do you do?", "When are you going to finish that damn dissertation??!!!" Just kidding, that's a question I always ask myself, but he did ask me about my progress with school (e.g., "Where do you need to go to finish your degree?"). And really, that's about it. I've been asked more questions crossing the border. I think everything is in the paperwork because there sure is a lot of it! Surprisingly, neither the initial administrator or this one asked for further evidence of engagement/on-going relationship. So the material we submitted with the petition was sufficient.

Anyway, after about 10-15 minutes of questioning, he said, "I've approved your application. Congratulations!" javascript:emoticon('') Almost kind of non-eventful given what I was expecting in terms of an interview. I then went back to the first administrator, who explained that my timeline for moving the US was extended for 6 more months and that my visa would be expedited through DHL, which is what I chose when I paid online for the interview.

As to rating the experience, well the extra-high security about getting in was very unexpected. And paying the convenience store guy $5 for storing my laptop bag was annoying. That part I didn't like at all. But once I got to the interview area, it was smooth sailing after that as I was processed quickly and the interview was simple and quick. So I would rate my experience as mostly good, but some bad ("4").
Rating : Good

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*Notice about estimates: The estimates are based off averages of other members recent experiences
(documented in their timelines) for the same benefit/petition/application at the same filing location.
Individual results may vary as every case is not always 'average'. Past performance does not necessarily
predict future results. The 'as early as date' may change over time based on current reported processing
times from members. There have historically been cases where a benefit/petition/application processing
briefly slows down or stops and this can not be predicted. Use these dates as reference only and do not
rely on them for planning. As always you should check the USCIS processing times to see if your application
is past due.

** Not all cases are transfered

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